Memphis head coach Josh Pastner drew some immediate media backlash after asserting that D.J. Stephens of the Tigers will go down as one of the top five greatest players in Memphis basketball history.
The comment came this past weekend and Pastner has changed his stance slightly, saying that Stephens might not be top five, strictly judging on basketball talent. But in terms of energy and effort, D.J. is definitely at the top of the list, he maintains.
Pastner is also convinced that Stephens will go down as one of the most beloved Tigers. Regardless of where you stand on the debate, it is impossible to watch D.J. Stephens compete and say that he didn't leave it all on the court. He plays so hard that he has been held out of practice since October 21 because Pastner doesn't want to risk him getting injured.
Memphis played (insert school name).
They ran out to a big lead. During the second half, (insert opponent's name) rallied, thanks to a seeming lack of intensity or focus by the Tigers. Ultimately, Memphis was able to hold off the rally and come away with a 10-point victory.
OK, that may be a little too generic, however, this scenario is all too familiar to anyone that has regularly watched the Tigers this year. This past Saturday (Jan. 19), the Tigers beat Harvard (60-50) and, once again, the script held.
The Memphis Grizzlies battled the Indiana Pacers on Monday as the nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a noon tip-off at FedExForum in front of 17,508 fans.
The Grizzlies fell to the Pacers 81-82 on a day with significance well beyond the game. Three sports legends – NBA Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Patrick Ewing and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown – were honored by the Grizzlies during the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day.
African-American sports pundit Rob Parker created a clamor and got himself suspended for saying on live television: "My question is ... Is he a brother or is he a cornball brother? He's not real ... He's kinda black, but he's ... off into something else ... I keep hearing these things... he has a white fiancé ... there's this talk he's a Republican. ''
Robert Griffin III's reply to the criticism was: "I don't want to be the best African-American quarterback; I want to be the best quarterback. But to fans ... who think that way and look at me as an African American, it's important I succeed for them."
In 2003 there were only four African-American head coaches at the 120 programs on college football's highest level, which was extremely embarrassing. The NFL started to clean up their act a while back, and their numbers have greatly improved, but college football had always lagged behind.
Since 2004 the numbers have improved, but it still shows how African-American coaches were locked out for so long. Today there are 16 African-American coaches in Division I-A football, and 61 percent of all the minority football coaches ever hired on the FBS level have been hired in the nine years since the publication of the first Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) Football Hiring Report Card was released.
"Embarrassing." "Tough." "Lack of effort."
These are three words spewed in the Memphis Grizzlies locker room after a brutal-looking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (99-73) at FedExForum on Monday night.
A wintry mix of cold temperatures and an intermittent freezing rain did not stop the 15,837 fans from coming out to witness what turned out to be a seemingly lackluster style of play. The Grizzlies just didn't deliver against the team that so many wanted to deliver a serious beat down.
After sweeping a three-game West Coast road trip, the Memphis Grizzlies returned home to face the San Antonio Spurs, where they won in overtime 101-98 on Friday (Jan. 11).
Facing a difficult back-to-back, the Grizzlies fell to the Dallas Mavericks (104-83) on the road on Saturday (Jan. 12).
Some say the Grizz's hard-fought game against the Spurs zapped Memphis' energy. Others see the loss as inexcusable.
Against the Spurs, the Grizzlies were a hard-working bunch. Fans at the FedExForum witnessed a playoff-atmosphere battle against a team Memphis had not beaten since Game 6 of the first round of the 2011 playoffs.